J. Jeffries McWhirter holds a diplomate in counseling psychology from the American Board of Professional Psychology and is a fellow of the American Psychological Association, the American Psychological Society, the Academy of Counseling Psychology, and the Association of Specialists in Group Work. He is a professor in the Division of Psychology in Education at Arizona State University. He has also maintained a small private practice for nearly 30 years. Jeffries is Benedict and Robert's father, and Benedict and Ellen are married.
Ellen Hawley McWhirter has a Ph.D. in counseling psychology from Arizona State University. She is an assistant professor of counseling psychology at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, and a licensed psychologist in the state of Nebraska.